Los Angeles County reported 1,032 new COVID-19 cases and 41 new deaths today in the daily total released by the Health Dept. That brings the LA County total to date to 44,055 cases and 2,090 deaths in the pandemic.
The County crossed the 2,000 deaths total on Thursday. The overall US death total is nearing 100,000.
Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, identified the Los Angeles metro area and two other major cities on Friday as places of concern because they have a “persistent high number of cases” yet remain closed. She also cited Washington, D.C. and Chicago as hotspots, and called for the Centers for Disease Control to work with the metro areas to study where the cases are coming from, and to come up with a way to prevent them in the future.
But Birx’s comments were a bit of a contrast with those of Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County’s public health director, who was more sanguine when asked about the L.A. area’s progress.
Ferrer said that the data shows stay-at-home and other COVID precautions are slowing the spread of the virus.
The news from the County Health Dept. comes as gradual reopenings of businesses and facilities are taking place. Although severe restrictions still apply, including wearing masks when outdoors and on the number of people who may gather together, the trends seems to indicate that social distancing measures and closures are working.
Ted Johnson and Tom Tapp contributed to this report.